A new Home Office report (14.04.11) shows that the number of positive or refused breath tests in 2009 increased by 3% compared to 2008. However, as the overall number of tests also increased, the proportion of positive or refused tests decreased by 1%.
The report, titled ‘Police Powers and Procedures 2009/10’, reveals that the number of positive or refused tests in 2009 was 93,973; a 3% increase from the 2008 figure of 91,666. But the proportion of positive or refused tests decreased from 13% in 2008 to 12% in 2009: the lowest since 1999.
The number of breath tests carried out by the police in 2009 increased to 813,288 from 711,658 in 2008: a 14% rise. This coincided with the introduction of new digital recording equipment which may have streamlined the procedure for many forces.
While 23% of all breath tests were conducted during December 2009, the proportion of positive or refused tests during that month stood at 5% – lower than the average.
The four forces with the highest number of tests per 1,000 of the population were North Wales, DyfedPowys, Gwent, and South Yorkshire. The forces with the highest rates of positive or refused tests were Staffordshire, North Wales, Norfolk and Dyfed-Powys.
Click here to read the full Home Office report.